In a season full of hard issues, the decision to come to Yankton was not one of them for the team from Plover, Wisconsin.
The girls from Plover are on their second trip to Yankton in three years after playing in the Northern Nationals here in 2018.
“We loved Yankton,” said Plover head coach Mike Trzinski. “We loved the complex. We loved the community."
“When we heard Yankton was gracious enough to pick up this tournament, we instantly said, ‘Yes.’
When Plover came to Yankton two years ago, the team did more than just show up at the ballpark and play their games.
“We took advantage of the location, the river, the scenery,” Trzinski said.
They also took advantage of the Meridian Bridge.
“My daughters and I bought locks and put them up on the bridge. We haven’t been up to check if they’re still there, but we will,” Trzinski said. “We took a team picture on it. It’s a great attribute for Yankton.”
While South Dakota teams were able to start playing in early June, Plover has been back on the field for less than a month due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“We were shut down until the start of July,” Trzinski said. “It’s been unorthodox, but we’ve been able to pull together a season beginning in July.
“We’re just thankful to Yankton and USA Softball for this great opportunity.”
Fusion Synergy was the lone team to go undefeated in pool play in the 14-Under division and earned the top spot in the tournament bracket. The Vermillion Flamez and Yankton Fury Black were seeded 12th and 13th in the 15-team bracket.
Yankton Fury Black went 1-1 on the day to conclude pool play, then won its opening game of tournament play, 10-1 over Madison Thunderstruck.
The Flamez dropped their pool play finale, then opened tourney play with a 12-4 loss to Sioux Falls Nitro.
Cyclones Red and South Dakota Renegades each went 3-0 in pool play in the 12-Under division. (Note: Siouxland Fastpitch was 2-0 with their final game not reported.)
Yankton Fury Twisters went 1-3 to be seeded eighth in the 11-team field. The Twisters, 0-2 on Friday, open bracket play today.
Pool play in the Northern Nationals concluded midday Friday, with bracket play beginning Friday afternoon. The tournament runs through Sunday at Sertoma Park, with championship games in the 14-Under ‘B’ and 12-Under ‘B’ divisions set for 1 p.m.
Here are recaps of the games for which the Press & Dakotan received information:
Fury Black 10, Madison 1
Payton Moser went 3-for-4 with a triple and four RBI to lead Yankton Fury Black to a 10-1 victory over Madison Thunderstruck in the opening round of tournament play Friday afternoon.
Emma Herrboldt, Mikayla Humpal, Camryn Koletzky, Chloe Vander Tuig, Lucy Yost, and Lydia Yost each had a hit in the victory.
Harley Johnson had two of Madison’s four hits. Caymen Ferber and Eden Durandt each had a hit.
Olivia Binde picked up the win, striking out two in the six-inning contest. Karley Lurz took the loss.
Plover 11, Fury Black 2
The Plover Nationals had 11 different players with a hit in an 11-2 victory over Yankton Fury Black in pool play on Friday morning.
Sydney Gavin doubled and singled, and Taylor Millard had two hits for Plover.
Mikayla Humpal, Payton Moser, Megan Tramp, Lucy Yost and Lydia Yost each had a hit for Yankton.
Hannah Trzinski pitched four innings, striking out three, for the win. Lydia Yost took the loss.
Fury Black 7, Brookings 3
Yankton Fury Black took control with a four-run fifth inning on the way to a 7-3 victory over Brookings Outlaws on Friday morning.
Emma Herrboldt and Mikayla Humpal each had two hits for Yankton. Payton Moser posted a triple. Megan Tramp and Lydia Yost each doubled. Camryn Koletzky and Lucy Yost each had a hit in the victory.
Olivia Binde picked up the win, striking out two in the five-inning contest.